The internet as a moving target (and it’s hard to hit a moving target)

From Tracy LaQuey, 1994:

Remember, the Internet is a moving target. Computer names change. Sites disappear. What works today may not work tomorrow. 

Pursuing this phrase where it also shows up:

“Learning about Internet culture is like learning a new language. Immersion is the most important approach – but immersion in cyberspace has its seductive side. There is always something new: there are new developments related to the Internet, whether technological, social, cultural, or political. Studying the Internet did indeed feel like shooting a moving target. …To be sure, the Internet changes daily. But that does not mean what happened yesterday is meaningless today, for every little development in the past becomes part of the present. …Seen in this way, no research of the Internet can be outdated.”

And illustrating just how resilient an organzation can be in the face of opposition, Wikileaks as a moving target (from Renesys), 2010:

Second, it's apparent that search and social infrastructure (Google and Twitter) now play a key role in re-spawning content that gets blocked in any one place, and drawing even more attention to the surviving copies. If suppressed content automatically goes viral, the Internet's construction basically guarantees that that content will have a home for the rest of time. If you attack DNS support, people will tweet raw IP addresses. If you take down the BGP routes to web content, people will put up more mirrors, or switch to overlay networks to distribute the data. You can't burn down theLibrary of Alexandria any more— it will respawn in someone's basement in Stockholm, or Denver, or Beijing.



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